Progress in Paradise – Pullum Real Estate celebrates 50 years in business

Posted on June 13, 2019 by Clairen Reese

Navarre resident and successful realtor Bart Pullum couldn’t imagine calling anywhere else home. As a third generation Navarre Pullum he’s not only passionate about the area but also carries on the family vision to help it grow and prosper.

Bart is proud to share how his family put down roots and helped to grow this place deemed paradise by locals and visitors alike.

Bart’s grandfather E.H. “Al” Pullum (affectionately called Granddad) originally hailed from DeFuniak Springs before he migrated south to Miami during the Great Depression. There he got a taste of growing things such as tomatoes. When people started showing up around the farm looking for property Granddad seized the opportunity and began selling them real estate.

In the early 60s the family vacationed in Navarre and instantly fell in love. When Al met a man down south who was looking for a large parcel of land he introduced him to Navarre in the late 60s and brokered the Holley By The Sea project.

Granddad Pullum decided to retire in Navarre, but just couldn’t get real estate out of his system. He bought large parcels of acreages in 1969 and subdivided them making it affordable for buyers. E.H. Pullum Real Estate was launched out of his home as a vehicle through which to broker the deals.

In 1971 Bart’s dad, Bill, left the service as a highly decorated helicopter pilot. He visited his parents in Navarre and never
left. Bill married Martha the same year and then followed in his father’s footsteps by getting into real estate. The family’s shared vision was to make Navarre a better place to live, work and do business.

“My mom plays a major role in our family,” Bart explained. “She’s the one who has kept the family together all these years.”

In ‘72, Granddad Pullum built a small office on Hwy. 98 and became co-founder and first president of the Navarre Area Board of Realtors.

“He and some other old timers used to have coffee at Ira Mae’s Coffee Shop and talk local politics,” Bart said. “That’s where the idea originated to start the first chamber.”

Bart’s grandfather and father soon co-founded the Navarre Beach Chamber of Commerce. He joked about the timing.

“Those are easy dates to remember,” Bart explained. “My mother went into labor during the first chamber meeting on April 2, 1973, and I was born the next day.”

As new life was coming onto the scene, Bart’s dad and granddad were hard at work developing the original Navarre First and Second Edition subdivision followed by Biscayne Point, Fox Den, and Panhandle Trail among many others. In 1978, Granddad Pullum decided to retire again. He sold the business to his son (Bart’s dad Bill), and it became Bill Pullum Realty.

In 1984 Bill and others successfully lobbied to get telephone toll charges between Milton and Fort Walton Beach dropped. To celebrate, the Navarre Funfest was created. Soon thereafter, Navarre became home to a long-awaited
post office.

In the late 80s the Pullum family invested in and developed two very popular commercial ventures – the Comfort Inn and Cowboys Steakhouse, which was open for 13 years.

The Pullums also donated real estate and a million dollars in seed money for the senior citizen center and the Betty J. Pullum Family YMCA (named after Bart’s grandmother.)

The family’s dedication to their beloved community continues with the present generation. In 1993, young Bart Pullum graduated from the University of Alabama and came home to Navarre where his dad promptly told him to get a job.

“I secretly started real estate school with my cousin, John,” Bart explained. “When I completed that I walked into my dad’s office and asked him which desk was mine. He was thrilled.”

One of the first successes Bart enjoyed with the help of others in the community was winning the wet/dry election. Wife Rebecca also worked diligently with a girls’ group to bring the John Duncan Memorial Children’s Park to fruition. In 2012 his dad retired due to illness. Bart and Rebecca purchased the business. They have two children: Hayley, 16 and Hunter, 15. Bart’s sister, Paula, also calls Navarre home.

“In 2014 we moved from our original office founded in 1972, to a new office along Highway 98,” Bart said. “Our family continues to list, sell and develop real estate while working in many other capacities to improve our community. We are pleased to be celebrating our 50th anniversary as a part of Navarre.”